Are corporations evading taxes or not? Governments can’t decide
Corporate tax rates are at historic lows. While many politicians like to grab headlines with claims that corporations are not paying their fair share and should “do the right thing”, they happily ignore the reality that government tax reform and regulation is the only way to make sure this happens.
Take the example of Apple: In 2013, the multi-national giant was grilled by a US Senate committee for evading billions of dollars in US taxes. This is because most of their international revenue is channeled through an Irish subsidiary. Members of the Senate committee were outraged and made headlines across the country.
Apple’s response should not have been surprising. They maintained that they did nothing wrong and had paid every penny they owed. Within capitalism, no for-profit company is going to knowingly pay a tax they do not need to. An army of accountants does for Apple what pretty much every other multi-national corporation does, navigate the complex web of tax law to avoid taxes where and whenever possible.
The only way to ensure Apple and other companies pay their fair share of taxes is to (drumroll) close the loopholes that allow these companies to hide their revenues oversees. Instead of politicians paying lip-service to voters, these politicians themselves should “do the right thing” and reform broken corporate tax laws.
Why don’t they? The fact is that these politicians are actually very happy with the laws just the way they are.
Currently, the European Union is conducting their own investigation into Apple and the company’s tax avoidance schemes. And, ironically, the US government is now attempting to run interference and defend Apple. The US Treasury has written a white paper stating that the EU is overstepping its authority and should cease and desist from trying to claim more taxes from American companies. categories: [“What’s Left”]
The nuances are more revealing (and ridiculous). The US government’s real concern is that any additional taxes Apple pays to the EU would allow the company to pay even less tax in the United States.
Corporate tax laws are broken – both in the United States and in Canada. And, although they were broken by law-makers, they can be fixed by law-makers too. If only these politicians would stop talking the talk and start walking the walk.
The Fraser Institute Lies
Do Canadians pay more in taxes “than on food, clothing and shelter combined”? Of course not. And yet the Fraser institute continues to publish this claim as fact, year after year. And while it’s not a surprising claim from such a radically right-wing think-thank, it is surprising that the mainstream media regurgitates these findings without taking a minute to fact-check them.
While readers of this publication likely dismiss these reports and move on, it’s important to make sure others know just how wrong these claims are. When people see something being reported on the six o’clock news, they are likely to believe it, even if it doesn’t sound quite right.
Arm yourself with Press Progress' quick guide to pushing back against this deceptive fiction and make sure your family and friends don’t fall into the Fraser Institute’s tax trap.
More evidence that states the obvious: “Privatizing government doesn’t actually save money”
The common lie that so many buy into is that outsourcing government jobs boosts competition, competition reduces costs, and reduced costs save the government and tax-payers money. This philosophy is devastating for the thousands of talented full-time and unionized government employees who find themselves on the cutting block.
Also, it’s not true.
Over and over, government programs, departments, and services are cut and outsourced … only to create poorer paying jobs, deliver inferior services, and cost the government and tax-payers even more money.
A new study by the US Project on Government Oversight is just the latest that proves that “privatizing government turns out to be far more costly”.
At least the US Justice department has realized this and plans to phase out the use of the disaster that is the private prison system. They state that private prisons, “simply do not provide the same level of correctional services, programs, and resources; they do not save substantially on costs; and … they do not maintain the same level of safety and security”. Hopefully state governments follow suit.